WORCESTERSHIRE director of cricket Steve Rhodes paid a glowing tribute to a "special innings" from century-maker Joe Clarke and said it was "one of the best I have seen here".

Clarke hit an unbeaten 124 from 53 balls for his first T20 ton as Rapids defeated Durham Jets by eight wickets, reaching a 202 target with 11 balls to spare at New Road.

It followed his other impressive scores as a newly-converted opener in T20 cricket including half-centuries against Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

Paul Collingwood also scored a hundred for Jets.

Rhodes said: "It was an excellent wicket. I can't remember two centuries in the same T20 match and what an unbelievable innings from Joe.

"He has been in very good touch lately and showed that once again and carried that on.

"That is a really special innings, one of the best I have seen here at Worcester, certainly in the T20 competition.

"It is quite tough. You think that (201) is a huge score but we knocked it off in 18-and-a-half overs.

"It is crazy cricket but testament to Joe and the way he played.  "He thoroughly deserved the man of the match."

Clarke was also in excellent form in the County Championship and Rhodes thinks it will not be long before he returns to the international set-up with the Lions or even higher.

He said: "Joe has got a massive career ahead of him. He's had some ups and downs in the Lions lately but is now starting to put in performances that certainly I know people are taking notice of.

"He is desperate to do well and get into that England set-up again, whether it be Lions or the (full) international side, and if he keeps playing like that I'm sure they will come knocking."

On pursuing a formidable total Rhodes said: "We chased 230 at Headingley and gave it a good crack and the message was the same.

"We were going to go out there and be positive. We were going to try to get 70 off that first powerplay.

"We were just under that but not many wickets down which was crucial. We still had plenty of men in the tent.

"But we still had to keep the momentum up and it was a wonderful partnership between Ben Cox (43) and Joe. Thankfully they kept hitting the ball so cleanly.

"The ball kept flying and Tim Packwood (groundsman) deserves a lot of credit for a wonderful wicket."

John Hastings contributed a quick 24 in an opening stand of 65 with Clarke to help give the innings instant momentum.

Rhodes praised the bowling of Brett D'Oliveira who took 1-16 from four overs.

He said: "Brett mixed it up really well. It was difficult to read in the sense of where he was going to pitch the ball and at what pace.

To only go for 16 runs in a score of over 200 is a great effort."